It’s week 6 (or something) of my marathon training, and all is right with the world. No major issues to report. I am feeling great.
When you train for a race, you gradually work your way up to a certain high-mileage marker and then back off for a week to let your body recover. This was my dip-down week. We ran 14 miles, last weekend, and I was going to reward myself with a nine-mile run on Saturday.
But one of my running partners has a different training schedule. She needed to run 15 miles, this weekend. I know that no one who signs up for a running program enjoys running all those miles alone, which is why I volunteered to join her for 12 of those miles.
It was only three more miles than I originally planned on running. No problem — except Saturday was a disgustingly hot and humid day. At one point, I ran out of water. One woman kindly offered me something to drink. And one of our other running partners was struggling near the end of the run.
I have had those moments where I’m struggling and barely able to put one foot in front of the other. I always say — Keep going without me! I’m okay! I’ll catch up!
(Nobody ever listens to me and leaves me behind, thank God. We leave no woman on the field.)
But there were times when it was too much to talk, let alone listen, to a group of runners making chit-chat about life and work. At those moments when I wanted to die, I was thankful for the mentors who gave me the space and distance (even if it was just a block) to calm down and slog out those miles on my own.
Motivation and support come in a variety of different forms. This weekend, I remembered those long-runs where I struggled. I remembered how important it is to be silent and conserve energy. And I tried, especially towards this week’s run, to be quiet and respectful.
So tough! So brutal! So hot! And I’m so dang chatty!
I love the summer, but I am definitely ready to run in cooler weather.
I greatly appreciated your support for those extra miles! I like chatting on runs but could not find the breath! Your positivity keeps me going!
Loved this post! I couldn’t have gotten through my first marathon without my training friends!
Very good point about the chatting vs. silence. I love chatting with our Fleet Feet running buddies on our long runs, but you are so right that sometimes you just need that silence/space/quiet time! A combo of both on a long run is great! 🙂
Agreed. Thanks, Kelly!
There’s an understood agreement among distance runners – if someone gets quiet, ask them if they’re ok. If they say “yes, I just need to walk/slow down/get some water, please run ahead, I’ll catch up” – they need to be alone. It’s ok to run ahead…and spare the struggler from explaining that they just need to regroup – alone.